The subteam’s main responsibilities are developing a measurement system that will
be mounted on our aircraft to collect data from our test flights and implementing an autopilot system for the mission of our solar-powered UAV.
Τhe accumulation of data is an integral part of design optimization, since it allows us
to examine the airplane’s behaviour under different circumstances. Some of the most
important parameters are altitude, velocity, pressure and acceleration. Thus, the
Avionics subteam is tasked with taking sensors’ hardware specifications (eg operating
voltage), as well as the missions’ requirements into consideration and choosing the
Measurement System: Programming and Assembly
After choosing the sensors, Avionics members need to program the microcontroller
that will, along with the sensors, comprise the measurement system. During that
process, they often utilise existent sensor libraries, but also develop their own, in
order to effectively process data post-flight. Measurement systems are currently
being assembled and soldered on prototyping boards. In the future, the subsystem
aspires to develop their measurement systems on printed circuit boards (PCBs).
As part of our project’s research on solar-powered UAVs, the Avionics sub-team
focuses on the development of an autopilot system. That includes choosing the proper hardware platform and programming it to meet our mission’s requirements for autonomy and stability. A ground station will allow members to determine the UAV’s route and certain flight parameters, as well as monitor it. The team also aspires to study and implement path optimization algorithms in order to minimize the energy
consumed during flight.
Data from our test flights are currently saved on SD cards,which are part of our
measurement systems, and analysed after the flight. In the future, Avionics members
aspire to develop a telemetry system that will enable us to monitor data during flight,
thus getting more immediate feedback on our aircraft’s performance.